Tag Archives: design

Life notebook hack

Although lucky enough at the moment to have a few different projects on the go, at times it can feel like something is bound to slip. The human memory being what it is, there is surely only so much that can be blamed on outsourcing it to the cloud.  As a forgetful kind of girl, with my love of all things Moleskine well documented, I believe I am quite easy to buy for when present-giving time rolls around, as a new notebook will always be gratefully received and enthusiastically used.

That said, my latest notebook has gone slightly rogue, with paperclips, post-it notes and even a rubber band being used to try to highlight sections that I must try to remember to return to.  As a writer’s tool, it has become far too scrappy to be effective and has – if I am being honest – begun to drive me crazy.  About to start a new one and armed with this post as inspiration, I decided to get hacking.

Here is my new notebook, with its lovely leather cover:

There are few things more appealing than a new notebook as far as I am concerned, so be warned, if you are of the same opinion, the next photograph could leave you feeling a little giddy:

Lovely.  The friend who gave me the notebook was worried that they had picked up square-ruled paper by mistake, but this has turned out to be very fortuitous, as it made what is about to follow much easier.

First, I removed the cover:

Then I split the notebook into sections.  I reckoned I needed five with the number of things I am now working on:

Then I got my new craft knife ready.  I suppose I should also have used some kind of mat, but in the absence of one, an old copy of expat magazine Metropolis worked pretty well:

For a stationery addict like myself, working two days a week in an Aeon department store has been dangerous.  They sell everything and it is all pretty wonderful.

The next stage of the hack was to make some pencil markers:

The very eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I messed it up a bit first time around and had to re-do.  No problem though, it was easily amended.  Then began the fiddliest, the messiest and yet – as with so much in life – the most satisfying part, cutting the paper.  It was best to do about 5-6 pages at a time and to keep lining them up as I went, as the ruled lines didn’t always match up through the book.

Here is what I ended up with:

Very pretty, I am sure you will agree.  If the rainy season is about to begin where you are too, you could do worse on an evening cooped up indoors, with a pot of tea on the go and something soothing to listen to, than to do the same.

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‘…even crack dens glow…’

This is beautiful, just beautiful:

Last month I installed new bookshelves in a room in my house. They’re black, and my painter offered the unsolicited opinion that they might look depressing when completed. I knew he was wrong because, at the very least, the paperback shelf couldn’t help but have a cheerful orange zing a zing that comes from the Penguin spine, the most wonderfully insidious default interior design statement in our culture. Even crack dens glow with Penguins on the shelf

Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland’s Penguin Anniversary Project, Speaking to the Past, is available on Flickr here.

I have been collecting old Penguins for a while now, mostly because I want to read them, but also because of how god-damn gorgeous they look when you have a shelf full of the beautiful things.  Sadly, they are all boxed up now, but one day they will be taken out to glow again.  And now, thanks to Mr Coupland, I know that I will never be content until I have black shelves to keep them on.
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Filed under The Golden Country